College Basketball 2015: Power Ranking Top 10 Forwards
2015 College Basketball
October 16, 2015
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It’s now time to take a look at the top forwards in college basketball as we enter the 2015 season. This position is absolutely loaded and includes many guys who can help fatten your wallet.
Here are the top forwards in college basketball in 2015.
USA TODAY Sports
1. Ben Simmons, LSU - Ben Simmons was the top player of the 2015 recruiting class and won’t need long to prove why he’s at the top spot at his position. Simmons plays great defense, dominates the glass and hustles at both ends of the floor. Simmons is still a little raw offensively, but that will come in time. You’re going to find yourself watching a lot of LSU basketball this season because of Simmons.
2. Georges Niang, Iowa State - Georges Niang has averaged 15 or more points in back-to-back seasons and is coming off his junior year in which he shot 40 percent from downtown. Niang passes well, is an elite scorer and the type of player who can takeover a game once he gets hot. Niang will keep Iowa State in that Big 12 conversation.
3. Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga - Kyle Wiltjer is a 6’10” forward who shot 54 percent from the field and 46.6 percent from three last season for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Do I really need to say more? Wiltjer can downright fill it up and the fact he averaged more than six rebounds per game was just a bonus.
4. Skal Labissiere, Kentucky - Skal Labissiere is expected by many to be the top pick in next year’s NBA draft. Labissiere is comfortable inside or outside and his wiry 6’10” frame makes him tough on the defensive end. The only concern with Labissiere is that his eligibility this season remains up in the air.
5. Jaylen Brown, California - Jaylen Brown was a top-five player in the 2015 recruiting class and could be the best player on a Cal team that could do some serious damage in the Pac-12. Brown runs the court well, can defend multiple positions and has three-point range. Brown is going to make staying up late to watch the Golden Bears worth it.
6. Brandon Ingram, Duke - Another true freshman who will make his mark this season in college basketball is Brandon Ingram. Ingram has terrific range, passes the ball well and is decent at attacking the cup. Ingram plays with a certain swagger that should rub off on his teammates and help keep the Duke Blue Devils in the national title conversation once again.
7. Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin - Nigel Hayes is one of the few key players left from Wisconsin’s squad that made the championship last season. Hayes was a double-digit scorer while averaging 6.2 rebounds and two assists per game. Look for even bigger and better things from Hayes now that this is more his team with his former teammates now in the NBA.
8. Rico Gathers, Baylor - There may not be a more underrated player in the country than Baylor’s Rico Gathers. Last season, Gathers averaged 11.6 rebounds and 11.6 points. At 6’8”, 275 pounds, Gathers truly dominates the glass and is more than capable of putting the Bears on his back when they need that spark. Players like Gathers will continue to give Baylor a fighting chance in a deep Big 12.
9. Perry Ellis, Kansas - I’m surprised Perry Ellis is still in school, as it feels like he’s been in Kansas forever. Either way, Ellis has been a double-digit scorer in back-to-back seasons, averaged nearly seven rebounds last year and is the experienced guy who can help calm down the younger Jayhawks when times get a little hairy.
10. Anthony Gill, Virginia - Anthony Gill is one of the better defenders in college basketball and is one of the more efficient offensive players. Gill has shot better than 58 percent from the field in his first two seasons with the Cavs and averaged 6.5 rebounds last season. Gill may not be the flashiest player on this list, but not many players in the country get the job done at both ends like he does.